The Future Belongs to the Young – Or Does It?

Intergenerational equality means that every generation is guaranteed preconditions which are at least on the same level as they were for the previous generation. A prerequisite for this is equity within a generation.

According to a health study carried out by the FSHS students suffer from a great deal of mental health problems. The number of students diagnosed with depression and anxiety disorders has increased considerably since 2000. Out of the participants in the study, 30% said that they face mental health difficulties. One third of students feel a lot of stress. Women were more likely to suffer from study-related exhaustion than men.

According to studies, this is not a time that encourages young people to start a family. In the debate on combining a career and a family the costs for the government and employers and the aim to maximise careers in emphasised. Many intellectual and emotional demands are placed on the student generation: shortening their studies and the time spent caring for children at home, finding demanding careers and increasing the length of their careers. The importance of close relationships as a force that carries people through life seems to have been forgotten.

Väestöliitto’s standpoint on starting a family is that every adult should have the opportunity to achieve their hopes relating to children, i.e. have the number of children they want. Living alone or as a childfree couple is just as acceptable.

The important part of family policy is long-term support of a reasonable quality. One concrete action for consistent family policy would be to fix the cuts to student financial aid by introducing a care supplement to the student financial aid. This would also signal the acceptance of society for the brave choice that some young people make to have children during their studies.

 

Eija Koivuranta

Managing Director

Väestöliitto

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